NEW YORK: Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates once again topped the Forbes magazine list of the world’s richest billionaires, with a wealth of $86 billion.
Gates, an American business magnate, investor, author, and philanthropist who co-founded the world’s largest PC software company Microsoft in 1975, led the list for the fourth straight year.
He was followed by Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett among the top 10 billionaires, a group heavily dominated by Americans, many of whom work in the technology sector. Buffett’s wealth was estimated at $75.6 billion.
Others in the top 10 included Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at number three, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg at number five and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison at number seven.
The US President and business magnate Donald Trump slipped 220 spots on the list to number 544 with an estimated $3.5 billion. Forbes attributed Trump’s drop to sluggishness in the Manhattan real estate market which is responsible for a disproportionate amount of his wealth.
“Forty percent of Donald Trump’s fortune is tied up in Trump Tower and eight buildings within one mile of it,” Forbes said. “Lately, the neighborhood has been struggling (relatively speaking).”
Among others in the Forbes top 10, Amancio Ortega of Spanish apparel chain Zara was fifth, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim was sixth, the Koch brothers, Charles and David, were eighth and ninth and former New York City mayor and Bloomberg News founder Michael Bloomberg was 10th.
Record number of US black women graduating from West Point
WASHINGTON: They pose proudly in uniform, swords in hand: 34 young black women are set to graduate from West Point on Saturday, a record for the prestigious US military academy.
It is not the only record for the class of 2019: of the 985 cadets who have completed their four-year training, 221 are women.
“The strength of our Army lies within the diversity of its people and @WestPoint_USMA continues to prepare our future leaders to lead the modern #Soldier,” the US Army said on its Twitter account.
“Nothing standard-wise has changed, it’s just a concerted effort to broaden the people applying,” said academy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Ophardt.
“Our last true integration was in 1980 when the first group of women graduated from the Academy. Since then, we had a diverse pool, but not what we wanted,” he said.
According to data released by West Point, the class of 2019 includes 110 African Americans (11 percent), 79 Asians or Pacific Islanders (eight percent), 88 Hispanics (nine percent) and seven Native Americans (0.7 percent).
One of the proud graduates-to-be, Tiffany Welch Baker, this week told the NBC’s Today show that she wanted to be a role model.
“I hope those girls can see themselves in us,” she said. “I want these little black girls to say hey, I can do it too! It is possible for me.”
Iran FM: US troop boost ‘threat to international peace’
TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday a US decision to deploy 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East is a “threat to international peace,” state media reported.
“Increased US presence in our region is very dangerous and a threat to international peace and security and must be confronted,” Zarif said while talking to newsmen before heading home from a visit to Pakistan.
Washington says the reinforcements, which come after the deployment earlier this month of an aircraft carrier task force, B-52 bombers, an amphibious assault ship and a missile defence system, are in response to “campaign” of recent attacks approved by Iran’s top leadership.
“Americans make such claims to justify their hostile policies and to create tension in the Persian Gulf,” Zarif said.
The United States this month ended the last exemptions it had granted from sweeping unilateral sanctions it reimposed after abandoning a landmark 2015 nuclear between major powers and Iran in May last year.
The move dealt a heavy new blow to Iran’s already reeling economy as even vocal critics of the renewed sanctions, like Turkey, announced they had stopped buying Iranian oil.
US military helicopter destroyed in Afghanistan ‘hard landing’
KABUL: Passengers and crew aboard a US military helicopter were injured when the chopper they were travelling in was destroyed during a “hard landing” in Afghanistan, a US official said Saturday.
According to Colonel David Butler, a spokesman for US Forces Afghanistan, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter “hit the ground hard on the way to drop passengers off” during a mission in Helmand province.
Butler said the helicopter had been totally destroyed during the landing.
“Both Afghan and US personnel were injured but all are stable and expected to recover,” he said.
“No hostile fire or enemy contact involved.”